Most theoretical models on evolution of male secondary sexual characters and female preferences for these characters suggest that the male characters evolve in response to female preferences that may themselves evolve in response to direct or indirect benefits of choice. InDrosophila montana (a species of theD. virilis group), females use male song in their mate choice, preferring males that produce songs with short sound pulses and a high carrier frequency. We demonstrate here that the females get indirect benefits from their choice: in our data the frequency of the male song correlated with the survival rate of the male's progeny from egg to adulthood (indirect benefit for the female), but not with the fecundity of his mating partner (no direct benefit for the female). Male wing centroid asymmetry did not correlate with male wing song characters, nor with female egg production nor the fitness of her progeny, suggesting that fluctuating asymmetry in male wings does not play a major role in sexual signalling. The fact that the male song gives the female information on the male's condition/genetic quality inD. montana suggests that in this species the evolution of female preferences for male song characters could have evolved through condition–dependent viability selection presented in some ‘good genes’ models.